Tag Archives: World Superbike

Huertas steals pole and lap record from Montella on Friday, Booth-Amos seventh

It was a thrilling end to Friday’s action for the FIM Supersport World Championship, with Superpole getting underway with spots of rain in the air and Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) storming to pole position at the Prosecco DOC UK Round. The top spot changed hands multiple times throughout the 40-minute session, with the Spaniard setting a blisteringly quick 1’28.322 – breaking the previous lap record.

THE POLE BATTLE: Front row decided in the final five minutes

After a dramatic Superpole, it was the #99 who came out on top to steal pole position in the final five minutes of the session from Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team), who missed out by a mere 0.063s. Montella was unable to respond to Huertas’ time after a red flag was brought out with less than two minutes remaining on the clock. Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) rounded off an impressive front row for Race 1 on Saturday, starting as the top Yamaha in P3.

SECOND ROW: Debise heads Mahias

Fourth place on the grid goes the way of Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team), who set 17 laps across the session and will start ahead of compatriot Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha). Mahias rounds out the top five on the grid with Jorge Navarro (Orelac Racing Verdnatura) leaping to sixth on the grid on his Ducati to round out the second row of the grid ahead of Saturday.

HOME HERO: Booth-Amos inside top 10

Tom Booth-Amos (PTR Triumph) continued to show impressive pace at his home round, earning himself a spot on the third row of the grid – starting in P7. The #69 secured his best Superpole result of the season and will start ahead of Niki Tuuli (EAB Racing Team), who had an eventful session in eighth ahead of Bahattin Sofuoglu, who was the top MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider in ninth after suffering from an early issue. Meanwhile, the final spot inside the top 10 went the way of Glenn van Straalen (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) – completing a solid day for Ten Kate.

However, it was not smooth sailing for everyone with PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda’s Kaito Toba suffering a crash at Turn 9 after contact with Tuuli late in the session. Moments later, PTR Triumph’s Ondrej Vostatek had a crash of his own at Craner Curves before Tom Edwards (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) had a fall at Turn 12 – bringing out the red flag.

The top six from WorldSSP Superpole, full results here:

1. Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) 1’28.322s

2. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.063s

3. Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) +0.573s

4. Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +0.819s

5. Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.906s

6. Jorge Navarro (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +1.062s

Next up for WorldSSP is Race 1 on Saturday at 15:15 Local Time (UTC+1), so make sure you tune in using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Yamane on pole with new lap record at Donington Park

Japan’s Shoma Yamane took his second consecutive pole position of the season at Round 4 of the FIM Yamaha R3 bLU cRU World Cup in Donington Park, setting a new lap record of 1’44.682.

The morning’s Free Practice was held in difficult conditions for the riders with chilly temperatures and overnight rain necessitating the use of wet tyres throughout the session. Spain’s Marc Vich was quickest in the morning, more than eight tenths of a second ahead of Eduardo Burr and Dawid Nowak.

In the afternoon’s Superpole Yamane showed his pace from the very beginning, setting lap after lap at the top of the timesheets. The 18-year-old scored two top ten finishes last year at the British track and this season he is feeling ever more comfortable with his R3. Last time out in Misano he took his debut pole, and in Donington he followed this up with another fastest lap and a second consecutive pole.

At his favourite circuit, title-contender Vich was able to jump to second on the grid, and Poland’s Nowak completed the front row.

Championship leader Gonzalo Sanchez will start his debut Donington race from seventh on the grid.  

Shoma Yamane said: “In this morning’s practice I didn’t have a good feeling and it was difficult to set a good time, I was only eighth. I worked together with the Yamaha mechanics and we changed some things such as the suspension settings. In the afternoon my feeling was much better, I attacked and focused on doing many good laps, this ended in a new lap record and pole position so I feel very happy and I want to thank everyone at Yamaha for their support.”

FULL RESULTS – R3 bLU cRU – FREE PRACTICE
FULL RESULTS – R3 bLU cRU – SUPERPOLE

Race 1 will be held at 16:15 local time, 16:15 CET, on Saturday July 13th. Tune in LIVE via the Yamaha Racing YouTube channel.

Source: WorldSBK.com

“It would be a dream to step on the podium” – Petrucci talks Friday and podium hopes for Saturday at Donington

The first day of track action for Round 5 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has concluded, with Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) having a remarkable Friday – finishing in second position in FP1 and FP2. The Italian star was 0.222s adrift from Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who was at the top of the timesheets with all attention now turning to Saturday.

The #9 discussed what he loves so much about Donington Park and what he still needs to improve on for the remainder of the weekend: “It was good as it is always fun to ride at this track, it is one of my favourites, especially in the first sector because it is so flowing and fast and it is a really nice track and exciting.

“There are some areas where I can improve and my biggest problem at the moment is to be fast in the first lap of the race. I need to have a good qualifying tomorrow and the first lap of the race will be key as I am good at managing the tyre I just need a good position tomorrow.”

It was a strong day for Petrucci, who looks competitive but is still recovering after a motocross crash while training in April: “After Misano, I spent two weeks not using my right arm and my right shoulder because the inflammation after the race was huge. The situation is a little bit better than Misano but I am still missing a lot of power which is the thing that scares me the most except for Toprak. It is good to be here and almost on top.”

Returning at Misano, Petrucci took a best finish of sixth in Race 2, finishing ahead of Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) after a heroic ride.

However, the Italian has claimed some strong results previously at Donington Park and is now beginning to dream about fighting for the fairytale podium this weekend: “It is a dream but I really want to step on the podium again, but anyway being inside the top 5 would be good and to be the best independent so I can score some good points again. On the inside, I want to be on the podium but I am not sure how I will last during the race.

“It would be a dream to step on the podium, three months after the accident that I had.”

Make sure you follow along with all of the action from Donington Park with the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

“I’m always riding on the limit” – Razgatlioglu discusses a strong Friday and an unbelievable save

Friday’s action for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has concluded with Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) becoming the rider to beat on Friday, after setting a sensational pace throughout the day to end Friday 0.222s clear of the field. However, the #54’s day was not without drama, pulling off an unbelievable save at Turn 12 during Free Practice 2.

Razgatlioglu was instantly fast on Friday morning, ending FP1 at the top of the timesheets, and was instantly into the low 1:26 bracket. The #54’s times consistently dropped, entering FP2 with added confidence. The early stages of FP2 were briefly led by teammate Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) before Razgatlioglu went fastest two minutes later – later setting a 1’26.013.

Razgatlioglu used all of his body to save a front-end crash at Goddards after riding on the limit. The #54 discussed the moment: “The final corner, I’m very happy because it’s a nice video for my career! Nice memories and also, every lap, I’m waiting there for this problem. The last corner is very famous at Donington. Every lap, when I enter, I’m always riding on the limit there but this time I lost the front and almost crashed. I picked up the bike, this is good, it is Marquez-style. In general, it was a very good day for me. I know every lap, at the last corner, is very difficult. It’s a bit bumpy and easy to lose the front tyre.”

Throughout the day Razgatlioglu completed 34 laps in total and was the fastest rider in sectors 2,3 and 4. This allowed him to produce a consistent 1:26 pace during his final run on Friday and is already beginning to look like a key contender during the races this weekend.

Discussing his feeling heading into this weekend and what is allowing him to set blisteringly quick times, Razgatlioglu said: “Before coming here, I was feeling very positive. I remember last year I lost some corners and sectors due to the bike setup. I love the engine brake, but the BMW’s engine brake is crazy! I love it. I understand again that I’m riding and enjoying it a lot. The engine brake’s working, the bike is easy to stop and turn and in the last sector, we’re very strong.”

However, the #54 still believes there is work to do before he is fully comfortable around the technical Donington Park circuit: “I’m not feeling 100% at the final two corners, but we’ll try to improve there. In the last part, I need a little bit of lock. It looks like I am losing a bit in some areas, but this is the feeling. We’re strong in all sectors but the feeling is that I am still losing in some areas.”

Make sure you follow all of the action from Donington Park this weekend with the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Razgatlioglu remains on top in FP2 on Friday at Donington, Petrucci surges to P2 with Redding fifth

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the rider to beat in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as he closed in on the existing lap record at Donington Park. Just missing out on the 1’25s bracket, the #54 claimed P1 for the Prosecco DOC UK Round as he laid down a gauntlet for his rivals, although they did close in towards the end of Free Practice 2, with the gap at around two tenths following the two practice sessions.

RAZGATLIOGLU ON FORM: top spot for Toprak, BMW strong

Razgatlioglu remained unbeaten on Friday at Donington as he went straight into the low 1’26s, around three tenths clear of his rivals on a day where he stayed P1 for the majority of it. It was a strong day for BMW with Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) in fifth place, lapping 0.421s down on his stablemate, while Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was inside the top ten in FP1 and 13th overall. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) claimed 15th after a strong FP1 where he set a 1’27.052s, and he was the only rider not to improve their lap time in FP2, which meant the American was 15th.

CLOSE BEHIND: Petrucci second, dramatic day for Iannone

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) led Ducati’s charge as he claimed second overall, despite not running in the first stages of the 45-minute session. His 1’26.235s was enough to overhaul Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with the #11 claiming third despite several trips through the gravel on Friday. Teammate Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was sixth, 0.567s down in Razgatlioglu, after he crashed at Turn 1 in FP2 but he was able to-rejoin the session. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) had one of his best Fridays of the season, taking eighth spot and only 0.683s down on the pace, finishing directly ahead of Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) in ninth. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) was the final Ducati rider and it was eventful for ‘The Maniac’. Three trips through the gravel in FP1, plus a crash at Turn 11 in FP2, left him languishing out of the top 15.

FOURTH BUT A CRASH: Alex Lowes in P4, Bassani finds gains between sessions

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed second place despite an FP2 crash at Turn 12, with the #22 losing the front of his ZX-10RR under braking for the left-hand hairpin. He was able to take his bike back to the pits. In the classification, his 1’26.296s was enough to claim second place while Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) improved massively in Free Practice 2 to finish tenth overall. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 18th overall on Friday at Donington.

ONLY ONE YAMAHA IN THE TOP TEN: Locatelli P7, Rea P12 after FP1 issues

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) was the lead Yamaha rider on Friday as he claimed seventh place with a 1’26.688s, while teammate Jonathan Rea was seventh and just a couple of tenths back. The #65 missed a lot of running in FP1 due to electronic problems but was on track for the second half of that session. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed 11th as he narrowly missed out on a top ten, with Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) just behind by around 0.040s, despite the #65’s electronic issues in FP1 limiting his running. Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) claimed 17th with Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) the final Yamaha rider in 20th. Yamaha have a new preload adjuster for this weekend, allowing riders to adjust preload as the fuel load decreases.

A STRUGGLE FOR HONDA: bringing up the field

Donington proved to be difficult for Honda on Friday. Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) was the top rider after setting a 1’27.353s, but that time was only good enough for 19th place. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) was 21st, directly ahead of teammate iker Lecuona, while Adam Norrodin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) was 23rd and last.

The top six from WorldSBK on Friday, full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’26.013s

2. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.222s

3. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.225s

4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.283s

5. Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.421s

6. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.567s

Don’t miss any action from Saturday starting with FP3 at 09:00 Local Time (UTC+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Carrasco grabs pole honours at Donington, Herrera and Sanchez charge to the front row

After a thrilling Superpole session, Ana Carrasco (Evan Bros Racing Yamaha Team) adds her name to the FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship history books after taking her maiden pole position in the class. The #22 will head the grid for Race 1 at the Prosecco DOC UK Round with just 0.839s separating the talent-packed front row.

KEY CONTENDERS: Some big names will start on a close front row

Joining Carrasco on the front row will be Maria Herrera (Klint Forward Factory Team), who was unable to make it a second competitive pole in 2024 but will start from second on the grid. The #6 missed out on pole position by a mere 0.532s and will start ahead of Sara Sanchez (511 Terra&Vita Racing Team), who rounds off the second row of the grid. Sanchez set 14 laps across the Superpole session, continuing a consistent start to the 2024 season.

IMPROVING LATE: Ponziani heads the second row

Fourth place on the grid will be occupied by Yamaha Motoxracing WCR Team’s Roberta Ponziani, who put in a late 1’41.728 to place ahead of Beatriz Neila (Ampito / Pata Prometeon Yamaha). The #36 had an eventful session with a crash at Turn 8 with less than 15 minutes to go but would return to track for the end of the session. Meanwhile, Tayla Relph (TAYCO Motorsport) continues a fantastic weekend at Donington Park, finishing Superpole in P6.

COMPETETIVE GRID: Completing the top 10

A packed top 10 awaits with Pakita Ruiz (PS Racing Team 46+1), finding a significant amount of time on Friday afternoon, placing the #46 in seventh. Joining Ruiz on the third row will be Lucy Michel (TSL-Racing), who suffered a late crash at Turn 3 and will start ahead of Ran Yochay (511 Terra&Vita Racing Team) in ninth. However, rounding out the top 10 in Superpole was Ornella Ongaro (R 511 Terra&Vita Racing Team), while home hero Alyssia Whitmore (Sekhmet Motorcycle Racing Team) will start from P20 on the grid, aiming for a strong result this weekend.

The top six from WorldWCR Superpole, full results here:

1. Ana Carrasco (Evan Bros. Racing Yamaha Team) 1’40.581s

2. Maria Herrera (Klint Forward Factory Team) +0.532s

3. Sara Sanchez (511 Terra&Vita Racing Team) +0.839s

4. Roberta Ponziani (Yamaha Motoxracing WCR Team) +1.147s

5. Beatriz Neila (Ampito / Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +1.179s

6. Tayla Relph (TAYCO Motorsport) +1.433s

Make sure you don’t miss WorldWCR Race 1 on Saturday at 12:20 Local Time (UTC+1) using the WorldWCR YouTube and the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

WHAT WAS SAID ON FRIDAY AT DONINGTON: “I am sure we will stay in the paddock next year!”

With the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action resuming at Donington Park, it was a time to catch up with key personnel from the paddock. There was plenty to discuss, from team futures, kick starting campaigns and the future of Champions with nothing still decided. We’ve gathered the best quotes from Friday in one handy place for you…

Michael Galinski (Bonovo Action BMW Team Manager): “We are looking for every possibility… nothing is clear at the moment”

Discussing Bonovo BMW’s withdrawal, but the possibility of the MGM team structure continuing, team boss Michael Galinski said: “It is a shame that we have to stop this project with BMW and we are not happy about this but I have done racing all my life with MGM Racing Performance and we are looking for every possibility and I am sure we will stay in the paddock next year. Nothing is clear at the moment; we are looking at Honda as the project has got better and better.”

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “It’s been a strange but positive Day 1… The feeling wasn’t too bad”

Discussing his Friday, Bautista said: “This morning, I felt not so bad straight away because we came back to the setup, we changed at Misano. In the afternoon, because right now we don’t have a good base setup that allows me to ride like last year, we started with a different setup but it didn’t suit me. I stopped after a few laps and we went back to more similar to the morning. I had a small crash at Turn 1 which stopped us improving the feeling. My team did an incredible job to recover the bike and make some laps towards the end. The feeling wasn’t too bad. I started to recover my riding style. It’s been a strange but positive Day 1.”

Marc Bongers (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director): “For next season, we will only have two factory bikes”

From BMW’s side, Marc Bongers talked about the impact about losing two factory bikes and the possibility of finding another team for a satellite machine: “They are not stepping away from BMW, they are stepping away from the Championship and it is a shame that we have to end this nice relationship, but it is what it is. We have to respect Jurgen’s personal decision, it is unfortunate but that is what we have to deal with. Bonovo has been a great help to bring us back to the top, where we are at the moment. We have also established our test team which helps a lot in the background. First of all, to have four factory bikes, you need confidence in the team you support which we had in Bonovo so for next season, we have made it clear that we will only have two factory bikes and we have made no further decision. There will be no other factory team.”

Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW): “I was able to find a good rhythm!”

A strong day for Redding, with the #45 in P5. He said: “It wasn’t the easiest day, but what we did at Misano made a step forward. We’re finetuning the electronics. It takes its time. I was using a used tyre in FP2 and felt okay, but the lap time wasn’t really coming. We made some changes to the chassis and electronics. I put the SCX tyre on and felt good, it transformed the bike for me and normally it’s the opposite. It was good. I was able to find a good rhythm and that I was able to ride the bike in my style so I hope we can continue in this way.”

Paul Denning (Pata Prometon Yamaha Team Principal): “It’s got to be a turning point, but you can’t force things when it’s difficult…”

When asked whether the team’s home round could be a turning point for their campaign, team boss Paul Denning said: “It has got to be, but you can’t force things when it is difficult. We have changed a few things in the garage to calm down the working process as it is easy for everybody to overtry and to try and dig yourself out of a hole, but Jonathan seems more relaxed this weekend and looks like he is enjoying himself so far. We hope it is a turning point, but we can only go step by step towards the target.”

Stefano Cecconi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team Principal): “There are no deadlines from us… I think in the next few weeks it should be done”

Providing an update on Alvaro Bautista’s (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) future, Cecconi stated: “For Alvaro, we are talking but nothing is done yet, we are still in negotiations, so it takes time. There are no deadlines so far from us or from Alvaro, he is taking his time to think about his future because you know he is not a rookie anymore, so he has to be more than sure to continue to race and sacrifice himself. We have to wait for his decision first and then we have to see if we can find a good deal. I think in the next few weeks it should be done.

Follow all the action from WorldSBK at Donington using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Montella breaks lap record at Donington for P1, Navarro pips Booth-Amos to second in WorldSSP

Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) was virtually unbeatable in the FIM Supersport World Championship’s opening session of the weekend at Donington Park as he lapped more than seven tenths clear of his rivals in Free Practice. The #55 set a 1’28.907s to claim top spot and broke the all-time lap record in the process as he laid down a gauntlet ahead of the Prosecco DOC UK Round.

Montella was quick from the off as the session got underway, leading home hero Booth-Amos by an initial 0.054s. The Brit was able to briefly go fastest but Montella put in a couple of unbelievably quick laps, including breaking the all-time lap record, to claim top spot. His best time was a 1’28.907s, the only rider in the 1’28s bracket, as he finished 0.756s clear of his rivals. It had looked like Booth-Amos would take second, but a late Jorge Navarro (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) lap moved him into P2, demoting the Brit into third but it was still an impressive start to his weekend.

Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) claimed top Yamaha honours as he finished in fourth after posting a 1’29.915s, lapping just eight hundredths clear of fellow Frenchman Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in fifth. Stefano Manzi (Pata Prometeon Ten Kate Racing) made it three consecutive Yamaha riders in the order as he finished in sixth after he set a 1’30.134s, although he was more than a second away from Montella’s time.

Turkish star Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) had a strong start to his weekend, initially running towards the top three before claiming seventh spot. The one-time winner was just two tenths away from Manzi ahead, and he was a tenth clear of Ondrej Vostatek (PTR Triumph) in eighth, with the Czech rider and Triumph enjoying a good start to the UK Round. Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) was ninth after only completing eight laps, while Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completed the top ten.

Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) lost lots of running in the early stages of FP after a technical issue on his out lap, but the #61 was able to complete 10 laps and finish in 14th. Yeray Ruiz (VFT Racing Yamaha) was taken to the medical centre following a highside when running down the Craner Curves with just under 10 minutes remaining in the session.

The top six from WorldSSP Free Practice, full results here:

1. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’28.907s

2. Jorge Navarro (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +0.756s

3. Tom Booth-Amos (PTR Triumph) +0.869s

4. Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) +1.008s

5. Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +1.083s

6. Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) +1.227s

Watch WorldSSP Tissot Superpole from 16:00 Local Time (UTC+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Hodgson: “Alex is riding better than he ever has… I expect Sam to hopefully have his best weekend so far”

With the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descending on Donington Park for Round 5 of the 2024 season, it was a chance to catch up with some familiar faces in the paddock. One of these was 2003 Champion Neil Hodgson, who spoke during Free Practice 1 for the Prosecco DOC UK Round about twin brothers Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) plus his memories of Donington, a circuit he said, “saved his career”.

ALEX’S FORM: “it’s like he has matured and is comfortable in his own skin”

Alex Lowes has had an incredible start to the season, taking two wins in Australia, podiums in three of the four rounds so far and only once being outside the top six – when he crashed at Assen. With the ZX-10RR package clearly taking a step up from last season, Hodgson discussed the Provec Racing-run outfit as well as the #22’s form, believing the Brit is riding better than he ever has in WorldSBK after his strong start to 2024.

On the step made by Kawasaki and the rider he manages, Hodgson said: “Do you know what I love about the Kawasaki team? It is essentially the same bike but they never give up and are constantly working to improve an already incredible bike. They have made steps this year and so has Alex, who is riding better than he ever has. It is like he has matured and is comfortable in his own skin, he loves that team and they love him so yeah, he is riding better than I have ever seen him.”

BIG THINGS TO COME FOR SAM? “the timing of his home race is good, it’s a track he knows well and loves”

For Alex’s twin, Sam, it’s a first WorldSBK home round following his switch from Moto2™ at the end of last season. The #14 has had a good start to his maiden campaign, often fighting towards the front and leading laps, although he is yet to stand on the rostrum. Hodgson gave his view on the WorldSBK rookie, believing the UK Round is coming at a good time and that he’s hopeful the Brit will have his best weekend of the season so far.

Discussing Sam’s weekend, Hodgson said: “Definitely no tips that I can give him as the lap times are off the scale. For Sam, I think the timing of his home race is good at this track as it is one that he knows well and loves. Also, the Pirelli tyres work well on a cold track so Sam has been struggling with the Pirelli tyres on a hot track which are really greasing. I think the timing is good as it is one of his favourite tracks but I guess the only negative is that there are no long straights which is normally the Ducati’s strength but I expect Sam to hopefully have his best weekend so far.”

MEMORIES OF DONINGTON: “this track saved my career!”

Hodgson’s first of 16 WorldSBK wins came at Donington Park when he won Race 2 in 2000. He’d go on to win two races there, winning again in Race 1 in 2001. His career highlight came in 2003 when he claimed the World Championship, but he revealed that he believed Donington saved his career as he would be able to score strong results – he was on the podium in half his races there and only outside the top ten twice – consistently at the circuit.

Expanding on his memories of Donington, Hodgson said: “What a place this is! It is a superb track it is great for World Superbike, and I have a lot of great memories here. This track saved my career as I had so many years where it wasn’t happening, and I would turn up at Donington and for whatever reason the magic would work round here, and it saved my job.”

Watch all the action from WorldSBK in 2024 in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Razgatlioglu rockets to P1 in WorldSBK FP1, Petrucci and Gerloff second and third at Donington

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship burst back into action at Donington Park with Free Practice 1, a session that was topped by Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). The Turkish star was quick out of the blocks for the Prosecco DOC UK Round to hold P1 for the majority of the session, as the form rider in WorldSBK looks to extend his lead at the top of the Championship standings at a track he’s enjoyed so much success at in the past.

With a damp track to start the 45-minute session, but drying throughout FP1, times dropped rapidly as riders found more grip at Donington. Razgatlioglu ended the session on top after setting a 1’26.419s despite carrying a knock to his ankle, with Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) claiming an impressive second. With an extra month of recovery, ‘Petrux’ will be closer to full fitness, and he started the day by setting a 1’26.835s to take second. He and Razgatlioglu were the only riders in the 1’26s bracket. Petrucci’s best lap time came at the end of a long run, showing his potential in the UK. Third place went to Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) with his last flying lap a 1’27.052s, just over six tenths away from ‘El Turco’.

Home hero Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) started the day by leading the early running, before falling to fourth in the closing stages. Nevertheless, it was a good start for the #22 as he goes in search of glory at the circuit he lives 10 minutes from. Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was fifth, with Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) the lead Yamaha rider in sixth place.

Yamaha riders were sixth and seventh, with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) in seventh, a tenth ahead of Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). Ninth place belonged to Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) after he set a 1’27.664s on his final lap, but it was an eventful session for ‘The Maniac’. He went through the gravel three times, including twice at Coppice, as he reacquainted himself to Donington Park. Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) completed the top ten with Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 11th.

It was a difficult start for Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), who lost around half the session sitting in his box. He initially completed two out laps but was back on track and able to claim 13th place with a 1’27.947s.

The top six from WorldSBK FP1, full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’26.419s

2. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.416s

3. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +0.633s

4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.706s

5. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.738s

6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.899s

Watch WorldSBK FP2 from Donington Park at 15:00 (UTC+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com